Sweet Charity; but There's Much More to Running Fund Raising Events Than You Think
Byline: LINDA WHITNEY
CHARITY money-raising events like flower shows, fetes, sports days and sponsored walks are as much a part of the British summer as cream teas and wet bank holidays.
Over half the population takes part in some kind of charity fundraising every year. And at some time most of us are inspired to organise or help with a fundraising event for a worthy cause.
But it takes more than good intentions to make a successful charity event.
You need time, energy, plenty of help and, above all, an organised plan of action.
You also need to know the regulations covering charity events and fundraising.
There are many laws all aimed at maintaining public safety and ensuring that money donated to charity reaches its intended destination.
Every year, says Stephen Lee of the Institute of Charity Fundraising Managers, well-intentioned people end up being prosecuted out of ignorance.
If you want your charity money-raising event to be a success, do your homework well in advance.
* BY law you must have a charity's permission to use its name. Many charities will give help and advice about suitable events, times and venues and may give helpful information or publicity materials.
They may even have a local activist who can help you.
* YOU will need at least three months to prepare for your event, and make sure you choose a date which does not clash with a rival fete.
Local authorities usually charge for the use of parks, but for community and charity events often offer them at concessionary rates or free.
* VOLUNTEERS with previous experience, such as retired accountant or bookkeeper to handle the accounts, are invaluable and you might want to form a committee or even a society to put on even a one-off event. Some licences are more readily granted to societies than individuals.
* INVOLVE local organisations such as the St John Ambulance or Red Cross (free) and the Women's Institute (for teas) and don't forget the police. Your community police officer may give advice and even help organise the event.
Policing for small events is free.
* GETTING the right licences is very important. Your local authority licensing officers will tell you which you need, where to obtain them and how much to pay.
You will need insurance. Public liability insurance is vital - you could be sued if someone is injured at your event.
A few companies, such as Corn-hill, write policies specifically for outdoor events. Its special events public liability policy can be bought on a per day basis from [pounds sterling]70 for [pounds sterling]1 million indemnity for Third Party injury or damage.
You can also get cover against rain ruining your event - and tak-ings. The cost of Eagle Star's Plu-vius policy varies according to location and date.
Even in August, for three hours rates cover from [pounds sterling]192 in London to [pounds sterling]317 in rain-prone Keswick, Cumbria.
You can also get cover for cancellation or abandonment of the event or non-appearance of a celebrity (from Capital Indemnity), general event cancellation (Lombard General Insurance) and special events cover (Adam Bros).
The Health And Safety At Work Act applies even to charity fetes so ask your local authority about special safety rules for events like fairgrounds or sound stages.
As the day draws nearer, involve local companies by asking them to sponsor the event in exchange for an advertisement in the programme or on site, or by selling them site space.
Draw up a simple budget of costs and estimated profits in advance.
Try to cover your costs before the event. Keep a careful record of all costs and money collected.
Most big banks will grant you free banking for a temporary account for a one-off charity event, or will let you use a sundry account for simply banking the event proceeds and issuing a cheque to charity. …